Program Files Folder


  1. Posts : 617
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #1

    Program Files Folder


    Is there any possible way to Transfer all the files from the Program Files/x86 Folder to "Program Files". . . I know what the difference is, but I was wondering if I could have ONE Program Files Folder.
      My Computers


  2. Posts : 3,678
    Windows 11 Pro 64 Bit 21H2
       #2

    Microsoft doesn’t want 32-bit and 64-bit software mixing up in the same location. Whenever any 64 bit program is installed in a 64-bit CPU, it install to the folder C:\Program Files. Whenever a 32-bit program tries to install to C:\Program Files, it faces many issues and problems. So what the Microsoft developers did with Windows was very smart. The Windows separated and created two different directories for 32-bit and 64-bit programs.So, no they can't be combined.
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  3. Posts : 1,867
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 20H1
       #3

    The system looks up the file path to execute a program when you use a shortcut or menu entry.

    If the program were moved to a different location, none of that would work.

    You would have to search through all the programs, find it by its executable name (no friendly menu or shortcut name), and double-click on the executable.

    To give you an idea of the scope of that, on my system -

    23,542 files in Program Files (x86)
    23,845 files in Program Files

    You would also run the risk of overwriting one program with another.

    Even if you avoided all that, there may be a reference to something else that should be in the specific folder location for that program to run.

    Just don't see any advantage.
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  4. Posts : 7,122
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #4

    Some programs let you specify the installation folder. However there is no benefit in doing this so I wouldn't bother.
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  5. Posts : 1,513
    X
       #5

    What issues/problems do you mean? I've never seen any difference between the two folders, aside from different folder names.
    spunk said:
    Whenever a 32-bit program tries to install to C:\Program Files, it faces many issues and problems. So what the Microsoft developers did with Windows was very smart. The Windows separated and created two different directories for 32-bit and 64-bit programs. So, no they can't be combined.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 3,678
    Windows 11 Pro 64 Bit 21H2
       #6

    Some programs have 64 bit and 32 bit versions that install when you launch the installer (Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop etc) Each of these files have the same name. So if the 32 bit version of the program were to install to the 64 Bit , Program Files, it would overwrite the 64 bit app, and would probably not run correctly.There may be other issues too. If you decide to throw caution to the wind and try it, be sure you make a compressed Image file of your computer and save it to a USB HDD first in case it all goes wrong.
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  7. Posts : 1,467
    Windows 10 Pro
       #7

    JMedlock83 said:
    Is there any possible way to Transfer all the files from the Program Files/x86 Folder to "Program Files". . . I know what the difference is, but I was wondering if I could have ONE Program Files Folder.

    Yes it can .be done .. mind you, nothing will work, but it can be done.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 1,249
    Windows 10 Pro
       #8

    If all files were moved from "Program files (x86)" to "Program files" then most 64 bit applications would function normally. For them nothing would have changed. But almost all 32 bit programs would fail.

    32 bit applications are typically installed in the "Program files (x86)" folder. But in most cases that is not what they asked for. Many older 32 bit applications that predate 64 bit systems will explicitly specify the "Program files" folder. But that is not where they will end up.

    In 64 bit Windows all references to the "Program files" folder by a 32 bit process will be silently redirected to "Program files (x86)". That is where they will be installed to. 64 bit processes are not subject to this redirection.

    This system is often confusing. But for both 32 and 64 bit applications it just works. 32 bit applications work just like they did in a 32 bit OS, whether they are aware of 64 bit conventions or not. There is no conflict between 32 bit and 64 bit applications, even those with the same name. And it solves a number of issues relating to application compatibility that are understood best by developers.
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